When the weather cooperates, using the outdoors as a learning space is a wonderful idea. Kids adore being outside and being in a new and different location. Take time to use the environment around you to work on specific speech and language goals. Getting out and about will help to actively engage everyone and liven up more traditional sessions.
Topics to Talk About with Journals for Home
Kids like to make and create their own books. Journals are a great way to accomplish this while allowing them to write, draw, and eventually share happenings from their summer. Make each child a small journal that will be their own. Explain that the journals will be going home to complete an entry that will come back in for the next session to share. Send home instructions for families to be aware of the expectation. Remember to include examples for multilingual families that will assist them in the process. For several sessions, give different instructions to allow for creativity. Ideas to include:
- Words around you: Go on a walk by your house and write/draw ten items that you see along your way.
- Word hunt: Look for words that rhyme around your house, start with a sound being worked on, or working on a specific goal.
- Letter Fun: Make a page for each letter of the alphabet or specific start/end sound
The possibilities are endless and can be used throughout the summer to keep kids practicing at home. During sessions, have everyone share their journal entries and allow others to practice asking questions to each other.
Scavenger Hunt Fun
Kids will love heading out and about to go on a speech and language field trip. Take a little time to set up a scavenger list for everyone to work on together. Use outdoor items and specific sightings for summer. These may be related to vocabulary or simply to practice problem solving and use of new vocabulary. Some summer vocabulary could include: sunflower, sun, cloud, lady bug, caterpillar, ant, flag, pool, playground, fruit, garden, and sprinkler. Include at least a dozen words for the activity.
During the scavenger hunt, keep conversations going. Coach everyone to talk about the things that they see. As they find items on their list, stop and talk about them. Use the words in a sentence, talk about what was around them, and describe the scene. Another connection to home would be to send families a multilingual scavenger hunt to do together. Kids could draw a picture of the items they find to share with the group at a later date.
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